Every year Valentines comes and goes, and with it, comes the daunting reminder that all good men are taken.
That’s of course if like me, beautiful bouquets of roses and boxes of chocolate sit inches away from your desk as your co-worker struggles to cram them away while on the phone, thanking her prince charming for the “surprise”.
Yes. Story of my life. I always seem to be stuck with the ‘I don’t believe in Valentines’ kind (which may be code for ‘can’t afford Valentines’) but even though tinted by jealousy, I always look at my co-worker bundling away these flamboyant proof of love with a feeling of admiration. Because a part of me, the part that reads romance novels and never misses episodes of any ongoing soap opera (something I intend on denying in real life) is glad that THAT kind of love actually exists.
Which brings me to this story.
This is one of those! And I thought to share it with you because it brings together two things I love. Pumpkins (yes I love them. In fact, check out how I like to have them HERE) and a romantic story.
I’ll let you read it for yourselves below but in a nut shell, it’s about a young man (Mark Kiura) waiting to wed the love of his life, his (as he puts it) ‘cheerleader’. Thing is, giving her a perfect wedding given that he isn’t exactly earning Bob Collymore kind of money proved to be rather hard so.. he’s come up with an ingenious plan.
Buy a pack of delicious butternut pumpkins (great for you and your kids) for as low as KSH 250 and you will have brought him one step closer to his dream. If you’re not big on pumpkin then no worries cause yours will be given away to a deserving children’s home.
I’d love to talk you more into it but I think I’ll let him take it from here.
2008: A Love Story
so every love story is a cliche of girl meets boy, or vice versa, they fall in love, get married live happily ever after yadda yadda yadda….
Mine is true underdog story…a proper cinderella tale that requires your help to see it to its fairy tale conclusion…I first laid eyes on my true love (already too cliche?) yes my true love in our first semester at the East Africa school of Aviation. We were all going to be aircraft engineers by graduation day. So day 1. We assemble in the classroom, enthusiatic lads and lasses fresh out of secondary school with dreams that were valid…budding aircraft engineers. Then i saw her.
The sun was shining though the windows on the left side of the classroom, silhoutting her, her long braided hair falling carelessly over her right shoulder. Her perfectly chiseled nose abstracted aganist her face…
“hi babe” she responded to her ringing phone. Damn! she had a boyfriend. I coudnt compete. Of the five girls in the class of 40 people, she was easily the princess of the ball, and certainly the prettiest of them all…. Long story short, i had my work cut out….the boys in the class and then the boyfriend…sema non-starter
And so it begun. The race was one sided…the boys in class were all monied and able…the boyfriend was sending daily bouquets of red,yellow, white ,pink…all manner of coloured roses. Her phone was perpertually glued to her ear, the ensuing dreamy smile told it all. Serious strategy was required…or luck. Or both. As it were lady luck opportuned a moment: we were alone in class during a break. “so….Engineering? i volunteered shyly. I knew i would be shot down. I was ready to withdraw to the relative comfort of the classroom, to a corner to lick my wounds. “Yes…..Engineering. she said as she turned and smiled sweetly in my direction. Her mouth kept moving. I heard nothing. I was doing the monkey victory dance in my head, watching her mouth move.
The chinese have a saying…a journey of a thousand miles begins with one footstep. I went without lunch to save money to drive her home in a borrowed car which had to be fuelled; Njagi the plot caretaker, whose kiosk resided in the plot, played along as well…saving the near sell by date sossi packets for me, enlargening my fiscal ability. My wingman/classmate/buddy/ best man to be aided and abetted; he run interference with the boyfriend, consigning him to “kaburi ya sahau”; organising roadtrips, studygroups, student council parties, airport study visits….all the while making sure we were in the same group. he would once in a while cheekily leave us alone in his bed sitter as he “went to buy groceries”.
Karanja was a natural charmer as it were carrying a guitar to town just so to attract the ladies attention ( not that he could play a note to save his life). I must say he gave me some tips in that regard.
And so it came to pass…we were officially an item, newly graduated: the world was our oyester! KQ and other carriers were on a spending spree…the 777 was the aircraft of choice. surely there would be a shortage of engineers Bring on the jobs! Or not!! The economy is in reccession they said! It was cheaper to service the fleet in amsterdam, they expounded. At wilson airport we only need “makurutu wa kuosha ndege”. Clearly our rainbow had no pot of gold at its end…Plan B was in order. I needed to hustle. I was determined to provide for my future wife and family. A plethora of businesses ensued. Carwash, Vegetable vendor, research assistant. Finally farming seemed to fit. An engineer who is a farmer….enyewe all dreams are valid! Our journey of a thousand miles was back on track! Vegetables and tomatoes were the new promising currency. I was going to fulfil the dream wedding of the girl of my dreams!
Who announced she was pregnant.
This journey was sounding like it was going to be more than a thousand miles… I was now a father. i was determined to give my wife to be her dream wedding, all factors constant. And be the best daddy in the world. I was determined. Yes they are bills to be paid, food to be put on the table, pampers to be bought….My cinderella story would reach its midnight climax. I found myself my cheerleader….and she would have her day.
The wedding would cost 5000 dollars. I “borrowed, begged and stole” and raised 2000 dollars. Rex, my dutifull farm dog went without bestbix for the better part of three months. It was for his masters happiness after all….I was 3000 dollars short. It would pay for the reception, for the photography, for the decor, the cake! How could one forget the cake! The date was chosen. March the fith 2016. I have two weeks to D-Day.
My idea is simple: I need to raise 3000 dollars equivalent in ksh. I need 300 people to contribute 10 dollars (1000 ksh). For every contribution i will gift each one of you with 4 gift bags of butternut ( a gift bag contains 3 butternut squash and one kent mango) I can also donate, on your behalf, your gift bag(s) to one of two charities that i donate farm produce to: Sisters of Charity, Langata and Little Sisters of the Poor in Kasarani.
My name is Mark Chege, help me give my cheerleader/cinderella Claire Govedi her dream wedding….help me complete my journey of a thousand miles. It is said that every underdog has its day…I will have mine just as soon as my girl has hers.